850km bike, 25km swim, 2 runs, 2 gym sessions, 35 hours work, one full office day (yes, I do have a day job), video shoot, shopping afternoon, 2 breakfasts with friends, 5 social dinners, 2 blogs written and a 15hour flight to Amsterdam. This my friends is my life in the past 7 days!
Has it been a chore? Absolutely not, well except for the 2.5hours I sat in traffic getting back from my shopping trip. Top tip, if you are ever driving out of Capetown don’t leave at 4pm, it is painful! Have I enjoyed it? Absolutely! Am I tiered? No more than usual.
So, the question I am now asking myself, is how? How on earth have I managed to fit everything in? Because I have to admit, it does look crazy when written down on paper!
I don’t have to think too hard, because in actual fact the answer is quite simple. I have stopped trying to do everything on my own and I have rekindled my love of life. For years, I have been training on my own, believing that the only way to become tough, particularly for ironman, was to train in solitude, just me against myself. I found myself worrying and stressing every time I missed a target or at times having to force myself to train. I was 100% focussed on the end goal and would often forget to enjoy the journey.
When we moved to South Africa late last year, I was forced to change this. South Africa is truly the most amazing place in the world, but unfortunately it still has many social and political issues, meaning it’s not always safe to train on your own. This encouraged me to join groups and find people to train with. Very quickly I realised it’s the best thing that could have happened to me. I am now training with people who challenge me and most of all I am training with people who make it fun.
It sounds very cliché, but when you’re doing something that you are enjoying, you really can do more! The energy that you have previously used stressing is replaced by renewed positivity and vigour. This goes for anything in life, if your starting to find something a chore, look for ways that you can make it fun. Maybe you are already struggling to stick to that New Year’s resolution of running or going to the gym every week, instead stop trying to drag yourself out of bed and do it on your own, go find your local park run or do a fitness class. I am no coach but based on my own experience I guarantee you will derive the same or better results and most of all you will enjoy it and maybe even want to do more!
I am continuously taking these lessons and using them in other parts of my life. Take work for example; although I have always been part of a team, I would often get frustrated that people can’t deliver what I want, how I want it and eventually I would just do it on my own. Now I try to use that time and energy to coach team members in how I would approach it. Of course, I’m not saying I’m always right and my colleagues will testify to this 😉 but it has resulted in a less stressful and more fun working environment – well for me at least :-p
So, in short, I honestly believe I am able to do everything I do, not because I have magically found some extra hours in the day or been blessed with some super human power; but because I have made a conscious decision to have fun. I still have crazy goals and I WILL achieve them, but I will 100% make sure I remember to enjoy the journey – I encourage you to do the same!